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Can Insulation Catch Fire?

can insulation catch fire

Insulation is essential and necessary for homes. The benefits include energy efficiency, cost savings, and protection from extreme weather conditions. But can these insulating materials catch fire? It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type of insulation material and choose the safest and best type for your home.

Can Insulation Catch Fire from the Heat?

Fiberglass and rock wool—the most common types of insulation—are not flammable.. Fiberglass is a glass-like substance made up of tiny fibers that trap air between them. Rock wool is similar, but it’s made of small pieces of stone instead of glass. Both have been used in construction since the 1950s. They’re both safe to use because they don’t burn easily.

If you have doubts that an insulation product is flammable, check the label or ask our installers before placing it. It should say “non-flammable,” “flame resistant,” or “does not burn.” You’ll also want to make sure that the product doesn’t contain asbestos. Many older houses were built using asbestos as insulation. This is no longer allowed in new buildings.

Can Insulation Catch Fire from Electrical?

Insulation is unlikely to catch fire, but may melt. The flames will spread slowly through the insulation if there is a fire. Because it’s noncombustible, it won’t burn. It may melt, though, which could cause water damage. In this case, you will want to ensure the insulation is removed. Most building codes require insulation with a fire-resistant coating to prevent the fire from spreading or causing more flames. When you decide to choose what type of insulation you want, check with our installers and ensure the type you choose can also protect your home’s structure from fires.

What Temperature Does Fiberglass Insulation Catch Fire?

Controlled studies have shown that fiberglass can withstand over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It won’t readily burn or catch fire at low temperatures making it a relatively safe choice for your home’s insulation.

Fiberglass insulation is generally considered safe when appropriately installed. It isn’t combustible, so it shouldn’t ignite. It’s also flame retardant, so it won’t start a fire even if it gets exposed to heat. 

Is Insulation a Fire Hazard?

No it is not. Insulation does not burn easily or quickly. It may be damaged by hot temperatures but will not catch on fire unless exposed to extreme heat for an extended period. The damage depends on how long the insulation has been exposed to high temperatures.

What Type of Insulation Should I Use?

The most efficient and safest option we recommend is spray foam insulation for your walls, basement, or ceiling. When choosing insulation, consider its performance, durability, ease of installation, and price. Popular types of insulation include cellulose, polyurethane foam, and mineral wool. Each offers different advantages and disadvantages.

Cellulose is inexpensive and easy to work with. It’s also lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for attic insulation. Polyurethane foam is durable and provides good thermal insulation. It’s also relatively expensive and requires special equipment to install. Mineral wool is dense and heavy, making it challenging to move around.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation comes in sheets and batts. It’s made from recycled newspaper fibers and wood pulp. It’s lightweight and easy to handle. It’s usually sold in rolls measuring 4 feet wide x 8 feet long. Cellulose is available in white, yellow, blue, green, brown, gray, pink, orange, red, tan, and black. It’s also available in combination products such as cellulose/rock wool. Cellulose is commonly used in attics because it doesn’t absorb moisture and doesn’t shrink much. It’s also very affordable.

Mineral Wool Insulation

Mineral wool insulation is made from ground rock dust. It’s lightweight and absorbs little moisture. Mineral wool is often used as a replacement for cellulose insulation in attics. It’s also available as a blend with cellulose.

Spray Foam Insulation

Polyurethane foam insulation is manufactured using urethane chemicals. It’s durable and provides excellent thermal insulation. It’s typically used in walls, ceilings, and roofs. It’s available in several thicknesses. The thicker the foam, the better the insulating properties. A typical polyurethane foam wall would measure 3 inches thick. Sprayed onto the surface, this foam expands into a hard, rigid material that protects against temperature changes. It’s also more expensive than cellulose insulation.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation comes in sheet form. It’s made from glass strands bonded together with resin. Fiberglass insulation is available in white, cream, light gray, medium gray, dark gray, and charcoal. It’s also available with rock wool added to increase strength. Fiberglass insulation is best suited for attics because it absorbs moisture and shrinks slightly during installation. It’s also lightweight.

Ultimately, the form of insulation you use is up to you and the goals you’re trying to achieve. Most insulation nowadays provides effective thermal resistance keeping your home cool and warm all year. Most insulation types also prevent heat loss and are extremely energy efficient. So whether you need insulation in your exterior walls, attic, or crawl space, most conventional insulation will do the trick, but it’s always best to consult with professionals.

Tips for Choosing the Best Insulation

Choosing the right type of insulation can be confusing. There are many different types of insulation on the market today, each offering varying levels of protection. Here are some tips to help you choose the best insulation for your needs:

1) Choose the Right Type of Insulation

The main thing to consider when choosing insulation is its R-value. This value represents how well an insulation product resists heat transfer through it. The higher the number, the better the insulation.

2) Consider Your Needs

When selecting insulation, think about what kind of climate you live in. If you live in a cold area, you’ll want to look for high R-value insulation. If you live in an area where temperatures fluctuate throughout the year, you may want to select insulation that offers good thermal stability.

3) Look at Installation Costs

Insulation costs vary depending on the amount of insulation you purchase. You should expect to pay between $10-$20 per square foot for fiberglass insulation and $30-$50 per square foot for spray foam insulation. For mineral wool insulation, expect to pay around $40-$60 per square foot.

4) Choose One that is Fire Retardant

If you live in an area prone to wildfires, you’ll want to ensure your insulation is fire retardant. Some insulation products have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which certifies them as fire resistant. UL-listed insulation meets specific standards set forth by the National Electrical Code (NEC). These standards include flame spread, smoke development, and ignition time requirements.

Consult Our Installers Today

When it comes to protecting your home, you want to choose effective and safe products. Deciding on the right insulation can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Our technicians can answer your home insulation questions and ensure you choose the right one for your home.

Give us a call today and speak with our friendly team of installation pros.



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